Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

A leadership approach: Eyes on, hands off. Also, how to be a subordinate leader.

More here about that.

6189923681_579653836e_o
6189923681_579653836e_o

 

More here about that.

Speaking of leadership, it is interesting that most people are of course subordinate leaders, yet there is very little written about how to actually be one. Retired Army Lt. Gen. James Dubik offers some helpful thoughts in the April issue of ARMY magazine. Learn how to do tasks for your boss so he or she can focus on doing the things only he or she can do. Define progress as “making new mistakes.”

 

More here about that.

Speaking of leadership, it is interesting that most people are of course subordinate leaders, yet there is very little written about how to actually be one. Retired Army Lt. Gen. James Dubik offers some helpful thoughts in the April issue of ARMY magazine. Learn how to do tasks for your boss so he or she can focus on doing the things only he or she can do. Define progress as “making new mistakes.”

In the same issue, retired Army Maj. Donald Vandegriff explains why the Army is having a hard time implementing a “mission command” approach. “Before a culture of Mission Command succeeds … the Army must possess the moral courage to identify countless barriers and then tear them down.” Bottom line: The Army has to stop teaching what to think and instead teach how to think. (By the way, the former is training, the latter is education. But the Army doesn’t have a Training and Education Command, does it?)

In the meantime, more here on military professionalism from a smart, well-read, Australian brigadier.

Photo credit: Flickr

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.